Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/06/21

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Subject: [Leica] Re: [CVUG] Epson R-D1 review
From: mail at (Karen Nakamura)
Date: Mon Jun 21 15:30:37 2004
References: <> <>


I'm in Shanghai right now, so this is just a quick and dirty summary:

  *  Seiko Epson is famous for its printers but the larger Epson group 
has also been making computers as well as being an early participant 
in digital cameras.
* They produced models such as the CP-200/500 but then had apparently 
retreated from the digital camera market.
* But together with Cosina, they have re-entered the high-end digital 
camera market
* It looks like the Bessa R2, but is actually entirely new in the inside.
* The "EM" mount is compatible with the Leica M mount and the Leica S 
mount with an adapter
* The lenses I used for this test were the Color Skopar 21f/4, 28 
f/3.,5 35 f/2.5 PII, 50 f/2.,5 , and 75 f/2.5. Also the C-V Nokton 50 
f/1.5, and Ricoh GR 21 f/3.,5 and 28 f/2.8.

* I was not permitted to shoot in  JPEG mode, only the RAW mode by Epson
* I used the included Photolier v.1.0.1 software to convert to JPEG
* I did not modify the white balance or other settings

* [skip all the camera feature description since we know that]

* WIth the 21mm f/4, I should note that many digital cameras suffer 
from "front focusing error" (where the AF focuses slightly to the 
front of the image plane.  The R-D1 focused accurately at full 
aperture, using its full baselength of 38.2mm.  The 1.0x 
magnification finder was nice.

[see  photos 1a and 2a of two buildings with cloudy sky; 21mm f/4, ISO 200]

* The image on the left is full aperture. The image improved 
stopping down to f/5.6 (right side).  However, you may note that the 
window blinds on the edges of the frame exhibit some color fringing. 
This appears to be worse than other digital cameras. There is also 
some light falloff, but that is caused by the lens.

* [photos 2a 2b : 28mm f/3.5 full aperture and then stopped down to 
f/5.6] There is still color fringing on the f/5.6 photo

* [ 3a/3b: 35mm f/2.5  full aperture and stopped down to f/5.6]

* [4a/4b: 50mm f/2.5 full aperture and stopped down to f/5.6]

* I did not increase the sharpness in the RAW images or otherwise 
manipulate them. The color fringing was the only objectionable issue 
that I could find.

* This uses the SONY imaging CCD found in other cameras, but the 
image "flavor" produced by the chip appears different.

* 5a/5b:  75mm f/2.5 full and f/5.6

* 6a/6b: Noise reduction ON (left) and OFF (right)

* Using the 75mm lens, you have to be very careful or it is easy to 
misfocus (photo 7; AE+1)

* AWB seems excellent (8a = AWB, 8b = Daylight)

* 9a = AWB, 9b = tungsten

* 10a = AWB, 10b = florescent

*11a = ISO 200; 11b = ISO 400, 11c = ISO 800
* 12 = ISO 1600

* This is not just a simple point and shoot camera, but one where the 
photographer must pay attention to it.  In one sense ,its more 
complicated than a digital SLR.  But those photographers who have 
confidence in themselves should give it a shot.

Karen Nakamura

Replies: Reply from mark at (Mark Rabiner) ([Leica] Re: [CVUG] Epson R-D1 review)